Donald Trump takes FPL feud to Twitter

10/08/2013 6:30 PM

10/08/2013 7:57 PM

Florida Power & Light has one unhappy and very famous customer.

Donald Trump excoriated the for-profit utility on his popular Twitter feed Tuesday, writing: “In my opinion, one of the worst utility companies in the country is Florida Power and Light.”

Trump’s complaint? He explained in a subsequent tweet — and telephone interview with Miami Herald — that he was displeased with the condition of the utility poles around the Doral golf resort he bought for $150 million last year, especially near a stately new sign. The resort is in the midst of a significant upgrade, and Trump threatened to sue FPL if the poles outside don’t get better, too.

“Florida Power & Light has disgusting rotting utility poles outside Doral in Miami,’’ Trump, an avid and outspoken user of social media, wrote to the 2.3 million followers of @realDonaldTrump. “They should put in new ones or be sued.”

Dozens of followers retweeted Trump. Among the best known: Ingrid Casares, South Beach nightlife maven and Madonna friend.

“Agreed wait till a storm hits,” Casares tweeted to her 18,900 followers.

FPL spokesman Greg Brostowicz said in an email FPL has inspected more than 130,000 poles a year since 2006 and, as a result, replaced more than 50,000 poles and strengthened about 30,000.

“The safe and reliable performance of our system is paramount,” he wrote. “We encourage any customer who has a specific concern to contact us directly.”

Brostowicz said FPL has a policy of not giving specific customer account information to media “to respect our customer’s privacy.”

In a brief interview, Trump said discussions over the issue have been ongoing for a year.

“We put these magnificent signs up and we wanted them to ideally put the utilities all over the place underground,” he said. “At a minimum, we wanted them to give us a beautiful new pole, which wouldn’t be really expensive.”

Trump said the utility suggested his company pay “a number that was so ridiculous” to address the concerns — nearly $300,000, he said.

“I said, ‘You must be kidding,’ to my people,” said Trump. The real estate mogul added that he’s had “run-ins” with FPL in Palm Beach as well, where he owns the Mar-a-Lago Club.

Trump is pouring $250 million into renovations at the Trump National Doral Miami, 4400 NW 87th Ave.. The project, which is well underway, includes gutting and rebuilding all 693 rooms, revamping golf courses, upgrading the pool area and transforming the clubhouse.

Miami Herald staffer Luisa Yanez contributed to this report.

About Madeleine Marr

Madeleine Marr

@madeleinemarr

Former fashion and food writer Madeleine Marr joined the Miami Herald in 2003. The native New Yorker's celebrity coverage includes features, interviews, events, red carpets, premieres, award ceremonies, style, news and gossip in the South Florida area and beyond.

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